HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 cc1835-6W
Mr. Soley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the(a) political situation n the Maldives and (b) arrest of Members of Parliament. [189299]

Mr. Alexander

We have welcomed recent moves towards further democratic reform in the Maldives, in particular the proposals in President Gayoom's speech of 9 June. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary wrote to the President in July to express our support for many of his proposals and to encourage him to ensure that a free and open debate on reform in the Maldives is allowed. We are concerned at the continuing detention of many of those arrested following the pro-reform demonstrations on 12 and 13 August, including members of the Special Majlis, and have urged the Government to repeal the state of emergency, restore all fundamental rights to the detainees, and reconvene the Special Majlis.

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